The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Teaching Innovation

Something striking in the Vision for the College of Architecture + Planning is the theme to take action with a focus on innovative processes. On January 9, 2015, the College faculty gathered to discuss teaching innovation. Something magical happened on January 9th in Park City. Lightening struck – invigorating and illuminating.

As we entered the room, the faculty had crafted an ambitious call to adventure. As you will see below, the discussion was high energy and highly productive. We pondered the implications of this call for our students and how we may best innovate to meet their learning needs to embrace this call. It is clear that in discussing together – the faculty invigorate one another.

The creativity in the Swaner Eco-Center was stronger, more agile, and more enlightened because of the collective positive energy. We should recall this moment whenever we need that burst of creativity.

This “pregnant moment” allowed us to create clear action items to pursue regarding innovation in teaching and learning.

These include:

      • We seek to be thought leaders in furthering our commitments of responsibility, resilience, respect and response.
      • We recognize the importance of process to forwarding those commitments.
      • We have the courage to reform our curricula and teaching methods.
      • In so doing, we seek more freedom and greater experimentation in how our emergent curricula will facilitate student exploration and differentiation

There are concrete steps to begin this process:

      • We will shape an interdisciplinary foundation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
      • We will link the 4R’s to both curricular reform and assessment (rubrics).
      • Our graduate curricula will build research literacy in our students through application.
      • We will share our creative work regularly through a research symposium/fair.
      • We will shape a shared design exercise for the entire college that will reinforce the 4R’s.

I invite you to join the leadership team and myself on an adventure to explore these new terrains, discover new possibilities, and implement new approaches. Our student leadership is clearly behind us on this quest and inspired by our vision. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Join us on this journey of creativity and innovation – oh, what a story we will have to tell.